3 FanDuel Stacks for the Wild Card Round
The NFL regular season may have already flown by, but we've still got the postseason to squeeze out a few more weeks of daily fantasy football before retiring for the winter.
With four playoff games this weekend, FanDuel is splitting them into two main slates -- a two-game slate on Saturday, followed by two games on Sunday. Given the smaller slates, you might want to dive heavier into tournaments, so let's check out some stacks to consider on both days to kick off the new year.
Not only does the Colts-Texans game have the highest total of all four games (48.5), but it's the only one that exceeds 42.5 points. Therefore, if you're playing either Saturday's slate or the combo two-day slate, you're going to want some exposure to what is far and away the matchup with the highest fantasy potential. Under these circumstances, this game clearly won't be sneaking by anyone, but it will be tough to fade even for game theory reasons.
On Houston's side, stacking Deshaun Watson ($8,800) and DeAndre Hopkins ($9,500) gives you immense upside, although as the the most expensive options at their respective positions they won't give you much leeway for the rest of your lineup. Of course, they're pricey for a reason -- Watson has scored 29-plus FanDuel points four times this year (one of which came against Indianapolis), while Hopkins easily leads all wideouts on the board with 17.3 points per game and an immense 32.9% target market share.
The Colts also rank just 23rd against the pass, according to numberFire's Adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play metric. On a two-game slate, the high salaries are hardly enough to move away from this duo, and you'll certainly want to throw them in some lineups.
But for more bang for your buck, we can also find similar upside on the other side from Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton at a combined $2,000 discount. Houston is numberFire's 20th-ranked passing defense, and two of Luck's best games this season have come against them, racking up 464 passing yards and 4 touchdowns in Week 4 (35.66 FanDuel points), along with 399 yards and 2 scores in Week 14 (24.56).
Although he didn't hit paydirt in either game, Hilton performed quite well in those games, too, catching 4-of-6 targets for 115 yards and 9-of-13 for 199 yards. His career success against Houston is well-documented as well. Hilton continues to miss practice, but that's been the norm lately, so he should be good to go this weekend.
Luck and Hilton figure to be very popular, and Eric Ebron ($6,600) will easily be the highest-owned tight end on Saturday, but considering their exciting ceilings and reasonable salaries, chances are you'll want them on your side in more lineups than not.
If you're looking for an alternative pairing on Saturday, the Cowboys' Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper provide a solid value stack against the Seahawks. This game features a modest 42.5-point total, so you're hoping for the Colts-Texans game to be a fantasy dud if you go here, but Prescott and Cooper have proven fully capable of posting big scores on occasion.
Prescott may not run as often as someone like Watson, but he still adds some upside on the ground with six rushing scores, second to only Josh Allen among quarterbacks. He's also performed far better at home this season, where he's thrown 14 of his 22 touchdowns and averaged 8.0 yards per pass attempt. He's posted over 26 FanDuel points four times (three of them at home), so while he isn't as reliable as Watson or Luck, the ceiling is still there for Saturday's cheapest starting quarterback.
As for Cooper, we've seen what his spike weeks can look like throughout his young career, and his Dallas tenure has been no exception, with FanDuel scores of 34.0 and 44.7 points in Weeks 12 and 14. He ended the regular season with three straight clunkers, so the floor remains as inconsistent as ever, but the good news is that's kept his salary in check, and with a 24.4% target market share since joining Dallas, volume is still on his side.
Seattle doesn't make for a plus matchup as numberFire's 11th-ranked passing defense, but there's no denying the value here, and the payoff could be lucrative if Prescott and Cooper hit their respective ceilings.
With both Chicago and Baltimore playing on Sunday, numberFire's top-two overall defenses, it's no wonder that both games are showing totals below 42.0 points. If things play out as expected, we could have a rather low-scoring slate compared to Saturday.
The Eagles (17.50) and Chargers (19.50) have the two lowest implied totals on either slate, so while both Nick Foles ($7,600) and Philip Rivers ($7,900) have had their moments this season, outside of taking contrarian shots in large-field tournaments, they'll be difficult to trust for stacks in these tough matchups.
That leaves us with Lamar Jackson ($8,400) and Mitchell Trubisky, and while Jackson is enticing as usual for his rushing upside, the passing game is another story, so from a stacking perspective, Trubisky is our most logical choice.
Despite the Eagles' improbable run to make the playoffs, we've attacked their secondary all season, which has allowed the third-most passing yards and ranks a modest 17th against the pass by numberFire' schedule-adjusted metrics.
Trubisky posted some discouraging numbers down the stretch, but similar to Prescott, he's performed notably better at home, tossing 19 of his 24 touchdowns at Soldier Field, and he also provides added value with his legs, ranking fifth among quarterbacks in rushing yards. His results have been all over the place, but he's shown incredible upside, posting over 28 FanDuel points four times, three of which were in home starts.
While we might normally attach Trubisky with a wideout or tight end, in this case, it's running back Tarik Cohen who arguably presents our best chance at a big score. There's always the danger of Cohen being scripted out of the game if the Bears go up big and rely on Jordan Howard -- certainly a possibility as 6.0-point home favorites -- but Cohen's big play ability has helped him to six games over 15 FanDuel points and two over 25 points.
Cohen's involvement in the passing game makes him a great match with Trubisky, as his 17.9% target market share trails only Ezekiel Elliott on either slate, and he's seen eight or more targets on five occasions. It doesn't hurt that the Eagles have struggled against pass-catching backs, allowing the second-most receptions and sixth-most receiving yards to opposing backfields.
At their low prices, Allen Robinson ($6,500) and Taylor Gabriel ($5,000) should also be considered, although it's worth noting that each has exceeded 15 FanDuel points only once apiece this season, and they have just three 100-yard games between them. Still, on a limited slate, it's hard to argue with those affordable salaries, and Robinson has seen pretty consistent volume lately, with at least seven targets in six of his last seven games.
Kenyatta Storin is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Kenyatta Storin also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username yatters. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.